UK-based esports organisation Guild Esports have announced their Parental Power Up programme, in support of Safer Internet Day 2024 today.
Guild said in a press release that their course for parents ‘follows a successful trial, is curated by industry leading experts, and is designed to educate parents on the world of online gaming and equip them with the tools to ensure they stay safe online when gaming’.
Parents will also learn the fundamentals of Fortnite to encourage participation in their children’s gaming.
The news comes shortly after Guild announced year-on-year revenues rose 24% to £5.53m, which their pre-tax loss almost halving from £8.75m to £4.5m year-on-year. It also comes after a separate Safeguarding in Esports Conference was announced by the NSPCC and British Esports.
According to a recent Ofcom report 72% of children aged 8-17 play video games online and nearly a quarter of parents (22%) don’t supervise the online activity of 8-11 year olds. This has led to 22% of children chatting to people they don’t know when gaming.
Furthermore, 71% of parents are concerned at the content their children are exposed to online, according to a YouGov and Firefox study. To address this, Guild set up the Parental Power Up programme ‘to equip parents with the knowledge and tools to ensure their children are safe when gaming online, particularly when doing so autonomously’.
Guild Esports will be rolling out its parent education initiative programme on a regular basis following the pilot.
Parents that sign up to the Parental Power Up programme will take part in a number of training exercises that help develop their gaming skills and encourage practice sessions with their kids to boost their learning.
As part of the programme, parents will be invited to the Sky Guild Gaming Centre in London, where they’ll have the opportunity to learn how to engage with their children and set boundaries in a healthy manner and the children will be taught best practice on how to conduct themselves in online spaces.
Guild also said the programme also serves as an extension of the work Guild are already doing in its local community. In 2023, more than 700 children came into Sky Guild Gaming Centre for education days where they also learnt about mental health and nutrition through the vehicle of esports.
Guild Esports’ Head of Player Pathway and Safeguarding, Kit Brunswick, designed the Parental Power Up programme and used popular video game title Fortnite as a basis for many of the activities. Online security forms an integral part of the program and he has integrated a series of safeguarding masterclasses to benefit both parents and kids.
Jed Leicester, a parent participant in the initial pilot scheme, said: “It was a thoroughly interesting event that not only showcased the impressive set up at Sky Guild Gaming Centre, but also demonstrated how maturely the coaches worked with the children to map out and explain the skill sets required to achieve greatness within the sport.
“They clearly identified the potentially harmful concepts and scenarios that we (parents and children) may not have considered whilst immersed in the gaming experience… and helped us better understand how, with the right guidance the virtual and real worlds can happily overlap.”
Jasmine Skee, CEO of Guild Esports, said regarding the Parental Power Up programme: “Within our Guild Academy, we’ve always understood the importance of upskilling parents alongside the training that we provide to their children.
“As the gaming industry continues to grow and more and more young people aspire to work in esports and competitive gaming, we want to lead the charge on ensuring that parents are knowledgeable and digitally savvy, with a broad understanding of the opportunities and ecosystem of the esports industry.
“We see this upskilling programme as a perfect vehicle to grow this understanding in a way that is engaging and authentic – and to allow them to bond with their children through gaming.”
Parents that want to know more about gaming and esports are invited to register their interest in participating in Guild’s upcoming Parental Power Up programmes by emailing [email protected].
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.